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Binghamton Mayor Richard David Gives His First State of the City Speech

Bob Joseph/WNBF News

Binghamton will be getting two additional police officers and eight firefighters while the city parking garages and broken roads will get attention if the city’s new mayor has his way.

Republican Richard David delivered his first State of the City address April 10, not in February, as is the tradition. David said he wanted to wait until he had logged 100 days into his administration.

David is vowing to reconstruct Riverside Drive between Front and Beethoven Streets with Conklin Avenue, Leroy Street and Grand Boulevard also on the list for repairs.

The mayor is looking to use a $1.3 million federal grant to pay for the new firefighter jobs for two years but the positions could be on the chopping block if more funding doesn’t come through after that.

David says in light of the escalating heroin epidemic in the region, he wants to add more officers to the police Community Response Team.

As had been announced in previous weeks, the city is looking for recommendations from a comprehensive study of the parking situation downtown. If City Council approves, the study would be partially funded by $50,000 from the Binghamton Metropolitan Transportation Study.

The Mayor also told council and residents he plans to send out requests for proposals from private developers to partner with the city to address the Collier Street parking garage, possibly turning it into a mixed-use facility that would have, not only parking, but also housing and retail space.

As for the Parlor City’s financial state, the mayor vowed to take additional steps to safeguard against government employees stealing public money.  Four city workers were cited for embezzlement under the administration of Matthew Ryan.

Democrats were generally receptive to the Republican mayor’s goal but Council President Teri Rennia said there were too few details on how David planned to pay for and implement his goals.

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